Nephew of the Week: Jason Gulick

Originally from New Jersey, Jason now calls Ybor City his home. He is married to Jake. The two of them are always seen together with big smiles and love in their hearts.

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Our good friend Brian “Darling” Chant, the former owner of The Queen & I Restaurant, was in Toronto, Canada on vacation. Being from Asia, his favorite meal is Pho. He found a highly-rated Thai restaurant and went to explore his taste buds. The very cute Thai server walked up to the table. Trying to impress him, Brian spoke in Thai.

The server made a funny face and replied in French! As Brian retold the story, he said in a very excited voice, “Oh, this is just not RIGHT! A Thai person speaking French. Not speaking Thai or English!”

GBar Closing Party

Another end of an era happened this past weekend: GBar closed. The space will reopen as Southern Nights Tampa on June 18th. The GBar family was a very close family that we were lucky to be a part of. Before the doors opened, our camera was invited in one last time. Co-owners Stephen Moss and Steve Donahue, at the end of the last of the bar’s 450 weeks in business, celebrated all the memories that involved the bartenders, greeters and staff with great wit and sincerity. The doors opened to thousands of friends and fans; the lines never quit or shortened all night long.

Many people in attendance came from all over the country to relive their memories of GBar! Everyone was reminiscing on all the firsts that happened there for them. Their first gay bar experience. First love(s). First legal drink. The memorable, crazily-decorated theme parties. The talented national acts, including Lady Gaga and dozens of other top pop artists performing. The new friends and lasting relationships. Some of the staff will be staying with the new club. Others will be at The Honey Pot every weekend.  THANK YOU to Stephen, Steve and Ernie for a GREAT PARTY!

Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn Closes

The grand famed madame in historic Ybor City is the renowned Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn. It is the oldest building in Ybor City. The records go back to its history as a print shop, construction site for Ybor Square, and then the Gonzalez Medical Clinic and Hospital.

The change of the building to an inn made it a bright spot, with 16 charming adorned boutique rooms. The tall ceilings, big windows and balconies, and the most comfortable beds were worth the stay alone. The challenges of a major makeover by Jack Shiver had him looking for wood paneling for his magical wood dream palace. It was just another Ybor renovation, and his love of this city shone through.Dish-3023_copy

A full book of renovations and history had been on display in the major event room near the open bar. What an experience. The many friends, neighbors, business owners, past overniters, wedding planners, florists and caters all shared stories of the grand dame on its final night. What will happen next? Many ideas had been thrown about but we really never heard about a permanent project. Oh well, that’s part of the ever-changing landscape in historic Ybor City.